There are two types of books that get people talking: a dud of a book that you can't even get halfway through (in which case, tell everyone who'll listen to stay far, far away from it), or a book that's so good you're devastated when it ends. Here are 17 best book trilogies with a cult following that fall into the latter category, thank goodness, so bump them to the top of your reading list and you'll be stocked up on reading material for the next several weeks — or months, depending on how often you fall asleep on the first page like most sleep-deprived moms.
Some of the most well-loved trilogies, like the Ibis Trilogy by Amatav Ghosh or The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson, will send your mind on an adventure to foreign lands, far away from sleep training and toddler tantrums. Others, like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, you've probably seen on the big screen but are worth visiting the book for an even better version — they say that nothing beats your imagination, after all.
They're pre-approved by millions of readers to offer hours of entertainment that will help you set a good example for your little ones. Even better? Once you start any of these trilogies, you won't be searching for a new book straight away because you already know you have two more to read next. So if you're looking to expand your reading list, here are 17 addictive book trilogies with a cult following to start, and will surely keep you occupied for a while.
1. The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins
You may have already seen the Hunger Games movies, but like most book-to-movie sequences, the books are well worth a read, too. Mockingjay, Catching Fire, and The Hunger Games will keep you busy with tales of protagonist Katniss Everdeen and her trials at the futuristic survival games.
2. The Millennium Trilogy By Stieg Larsson
With more than 12 million of the Millennium Trilogy in print, there's a good bet you won't be able to put these down either. Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest were all published after he died, so you'll have to savor these books knowing that there won't be any more to come — not even a spinoff. The books' main character, Lisbeth Salander, has been called "one of the most fascinating characters in modern genre fiction" by the San Francisco Chronicle, and she teams up with exiled journalist Mikael Blomkvist to investigate the disappearance of a wealthy industrial tycoon's niece.
3. Infernal Devices Trilogy By Cassandra Clare
In Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess, you'll find passion, power, secrets, and enchantment, describes Barnes & Noble, which is a winning combo in any book. Cassandra Clare's novels follow a teenage girl on her quest to find her brother in an underground world full of the supernatural, and the tough decisions she has to make, including family or humanity, along the way.
4. Graceling Realm Series By Kristin Cashore
In Graceling, the first of the Graceling Realm series, we meet the protagonist, Katsa, who is a rare Graceling. A Graceling is one of the select few born with any kind of special skill. Katsa has been "graced" with the ability to kill a man with her bare hands. Unfortunately, this means she has to use her powers as the king's enforcer instead of enjoying a privileged life as a royal.
In Fire and Bitterblue, we get to know other characters, each with their own special powers, like the ability to alter minds or control them. While While you don't need to read the series in order, any one of them will make you want to read the rest.
5. The Orphan Trilogy By James and Lance Morgan
James and Lance Morcan's Orphan Trilogy — consisting of The Ninth Orphan, The Orphan Factory, and The Orphan Uprising — is a fast-paced international conspiracy series that followed an orphan named Nine. He is one of twenty-three genetically superior orphans being raised and groomed by Chicago's Pedemont Project to start a new world order. The series follows Nine as he comes of age within the orphanage, then escapes and goes on the run across America and overseas, all the while using espionage skills from his upbringing to try to outrun his former father-figure. Talk about suspense from the get-go!
6. The King Trilogy By Stephen Douglass
In The Bridge to Caracas, the first in the King Trilogy by Stephen Douglass that also includes The Tainted Trust and Kerri's War, there's a $325 million theft, a private Cessna as the getaway vehicle, a bank in the Cayman Islands, and a murder. Those are the bones of a great mystery series. As a twist on the typical good-guy protagonist, the King Trilogy features a character with a great criminal mind with total contempt for law, police, and rules. Each of the books in the trilogy follow a new segment in the chase for that $325 million as many characters want in on the cash.
7. His Dark Materials By Philip Pullman
His Dark Materials encompasses three epic fantasy novels by Philip Pullman: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. The books follow two friends in their coming of age while they navigate parallel universes, complete with witches and armored polar bears.
8. The Bourne Trilogy By Robert Ludlum
The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum are all movies where we've had the chance to watch Matt Damon race around European streets. But before they were adapted to the big screen, they were the titles that made up Robert Ludlum's addictive fiction novels of the Bourne trilogy. series. The books offer the familiar story line following Jason Bourne as he tries to learn about his past — more detail, equal thrill.
9. Trilogy Of The Chosen By J.M. LeDuc
J.M. LeDuc's Trilogy of the Chosen is chock full of the kind of stuff that will instantly build a cult following: a former covert operative turned librarian in a peaceful town who just can't seem to escape his dark and dangerous past. The script takes a turn in the first of the trilogy, Cursed Blessing, when protagonist Brent Venturi discovers he's been bequeathed a secret that dates back to the dawn of creation — and as one of the chosen few who know its location, his job is to protect it at all costs.
In the remainder of the trilogy, Venturi must fight off the most deadly serial killer, who thrives on killing those chosen to protect the secret. You can expect nonstop suspense from the get-go.
10. The Falsifiers By Antoine Bello
Like so many hits, The Falsifiers trilogy got its start with success in Europe, and it's easy to understand why. The series' protagonist, Sliv, is a young Icelander straight out of college who joins an environmental consulting firm. But Sliv quickly learns that his new firm is the seat of a secret organization, The Consortium for the Falsification of Reality, the sole job of which is to rewrite history. Sliv seeks to find out who is behind the Consortium by reaching the top ranks of the organization.
11. Bloodlines Trilogy By Glen Duncan
201-year-old werewolf, Jake, has managed to stay young and healthy due to his diet of nonstop sex and exercise — if we could all be so lucky! The Bloodlines trilogy starts with The Last Werewolf where the protagonist Jake contemplating suicide after he learns that he is the last of his kind in the world. The story is much deeper than the average werewolf tale, that's for sure, with a character so sympathetic you'll almost forget he's a werewolf.
In Tallula Rising, author Glen Duncan tackles a female werewolf, Jake's lover who finds herself on the run from one of the deadliest vampires in the world. And in By Blood We Live, we get a view into the other perspective, that of the oldest vampire as he chases Tallula, and the ending is not what you would expect.
12. The Beyond Trilogy By Janet Morris
If you enjoy epic, Greek-inspired gods warring with each other, the Beyond trilogy by Janet Morris is your jam. The hero of the series is Tempus, the leader of mercenaries and warrior-servant for Vashanka, the god of storm and war. Tempus and his crew wage an epic war while continuing to keep the reader entertained with the likable characters. In the remaining two books, Tempus and his progeny take on more curses, wizardry and a whole host of magical scenarios that will keep you turning pages more quickly than ever.
13. The Bronze Horseman Trilogy by Paullina Simons
Paullina Simons' trilogy that starts with The Bronze Horseman, is a historical fiction dream. Set in the author's native Russia during World War II, it follows two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, and their love affair with the same Red Army soldier, Alexander. Somewhat expectedly, the sisters' obsession with the same soldier makes family matters more trying during the already difficult siege by Hitler as he marches toward Leningrad.
Introducing the rest of the series involves a major spoiler as to who wins the sisters' soldier battle. In Tatiana and Alexander, their love is tested as the war rages on and they are separated by thousands of miles. Finally, in The Summer Garden, the epic love story comes to a dramatic conclusion in the face of the Cold War.
14. African Trilogy By Chinua Achebe
Amazon tallies the reach of Things Fall Apart, the first in the African trilogy by Chinua Achebe, at 20 million copies sold in more than 50 languages, which would give you a sense of just how popular the book has become. In the acclaimed novel, Achebe describes Nigerian tribal life both pre- and post-colonialism by following Okonkwo, a terrorizing yet powerful father, farmer and wrestler.
Arrow of God, the second in the trilogy, follows the struggle of a village priest who believes himself to be untouchable, even as the tribe's way of life is threatened by change. And finally, in No Longer at Ease, we get to read about Okonkwo's grandson, who, after being educated in England, returns to Lagos and struggles to maintain a spot in the ruling elite.
15. The Ibis Trilogy By Amitav Ghosh
Most trilogies focus on a single character, but this one by Amitav Ghosh focuses instead on the travelers aboard a boat, the Ibis, which is crossing the Indian Ocean during just before the Opium Wars break out in China. The series begins with Sea of Poppies. Between the characters and their adventures in diverse places the Ibis lands, there's no shortage of escapades to keep you from putting the trilogy down.
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